The death of an 88-year-old woman in 2011 was the center of a lawsuit filed against the nursing home where she was living. The case of nursing home neglect was brought before a court that sided with the woman's daughter and awarded her $3.7 million. The nursing home will likely challenge this in efforts to have it dismissed or reduced.
When a loved one is moved into a nursing home, the family does not expect anything to go wrong. The nursing home is being paid to take care of that loved one and because of this, a certain level of care is expected. Many people in Illinois put their parents or grandparents into nursing homes because they do not have the time or expertise to care for them. But just because a certain level of care is assumed does not mean that it is provided. Nursing home neglect is a very real issue and some believe that it happens far too often.
Many families in Chicago will be forced to make tough decisions sometime in their lives. One of the toughest that a family will go through is whether to put an elderly loved one into a nursing home. Without considering extenuating factors, the choice can leave relatives seriously divided. Some may think that they do not have enough time to care for the needs of their relative while others argue that the costs are too high. But what if an act of nursing home negligence occurs and your loved one loses his or her life?
Like families elsewhere, those in Chicago know that loved ones will age and they will have to make a choice between taking care of themselves or enlisting professionals to care for them at nursing homes. Both options are expensive. While the former saves money, it costs time and while the latter saves time, it costs money. Many elect to go with a nursing home and their staff, but few ever consider the possibility of their loved ones experiencing negligence.
It can take a lot of consideration for a family to move a loved one into a nursing home. Many families weigh their options, doing their best to avoid the costs associated with the specialized care that residents receive at such facilities. But sometimes, that care is replaced with abuse and negligence. For instance, the family of a 90-year-old woman recently alleged that she was the victim of nursing home neglect.
As people in Chicago and throughout the United States age, they may become susceptible to some common bodily changes. One of the major changes that the elderly often experience is hearing loss. This can make communicating with others a lot harder and in a nursing home, this can lead to detrimental social isolation.
When a Chicago family can no longer care for an elderly relative -- be it mom, dad, or other loved one -- the option of taking them to a nursing home is often considered. One of the major benefits of a nursing home is the fact that professionals care for that loved one because it is their job to do so. This often gives relatives peace of mind because it is a staff's main responsibility to make sure that residents are happy and healthy.
Illinois Governor Pat Quinn has signed comprehensive long-term care rebalancing legislation that will protect senior citizens from neglect and abuse by family members, caregivers and nursing homes. As many elders are unable to speak out when they have suffered from nursing home neglect or abuse, these laws are critical to protect them and provide them with more dignity in their last stages of life. Several of these new laws are immediately effective, with the remaining legislation effective Jan. 1, 2013.
Elderly people in Illinois nursing homes and care facilities nationwide are vulnerable to physical, psychological and sexual abuse. Seniors, who often lack the ability to communicate clearly, might receive suspicious injuries or exhibit symptoms that are blamed on age or illness. What a parent or grandparent might not be able to say is that caregivers are assaulting, restraining, depriving or overmedicating them.
When a person's loved one is in an Illinois nursing home, the family should pay close attention to the conditions of the nursing home and how their loved one is being treated. If you lodge a complaint with the administration and do not see an improvement, notify the authorities or take legal action, as the nursing home abuse is likely to be affecting all residents.